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Just my 2 cents. I use cut bait under a cork for trout all the time when they wont take dines. I cut a pennant shaped pc of pinfish, pigfish, lizzard fish.........try a pc about 4" long and 1" wide hook through the short flat side 1/8" in. I use 20# flouro leader a 3-5/0 worm hook with a small bullet weight that slides right down to the hook.....cheap and deadly!
At one time I was the majority owner of Love's Lures and as many of you may know long before the equalizers, deadly combos., etc. we produced and marketed a grub tail on a jig head attached to a 24 inch mono leader with a cigar shaped cork. Love's Lures still makes the product, . It is called the Float-N-Jig. To fish it you would set the cork so that the jig would settle just above the grass (if the water is shallow enough). The retrieve would be a series of strong pops. Strong pop of the cork, let the jig settle for a few seconds and pop again.
I fish a similar rig - larger cigar shaped cork, 6ft. floro. leader, and the jig is either a Gulp shrimp or DOA shrimp or a Love's Lures Slugger. I feel the cigar shaped cork has three advantages over the Equalizer/Cajun thunder "clicking" type floats.
1. The sound the cork makes when popped sounds like a trout hitting a bait on top of the water. Other fish will come look to see what is happening and here comes the jig floating down right into their face.
2. The cigar floats I use have a slit down the size and can be removed or put on without having to cut the leader and re-tie the jig. If I want to quit fishing the jig under the float and work it on the bottom I just remove the cork.
3.I can easily adjust the depth of the jig under the cork without having to cut and re-tie the leader. This makes life much easier if you are drifting across a flat and trying to find the depth where the fish are holding.
An artificial under a cork is unbeliveably effective and I have caught a LOT of large fish as well as schoolies using this rig. It works for everything, trout, redfish, snook, bluefish, flounder and all sorts of trash fish. I have also caught a few cobia and even an occasional small shark using this rig.
Tried strips of cut mullet and pinfish and butterfly'd whole live pinfish. Popped the heck outa them corks and didn't get one bite. I did hook up a nice big Red on a butterfly'd pinfish on a Carolina rig without the bobber but he broke off in the Mangroves...darn! I'll try them again when I can get out in the grass and sand holes but for now I'm not impressed.